Law of Cards: 2 Years Later and Trilegiant/Beckett Media Case Can Begin

Law of Cards: 2 Years Later and Trilegiant/Beckett Media Case Can Begin

After wading through a slew of defendants' motions (consisting of thousands of pages of motions, responses, replies and declarations), the court has officially begun the case against Trilegiant and (some of) its Internet merchant vendors (including Beckett Media).

The case was filed two years ago and asserted ten claims ranging from violations of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to unjust enrichment claims. The case basically boiled down to the plaintiffs alleging that Trilegiant colluded with Internet merchants (like Beckett) to assess unauthorized charges on consumers' credit or debit card accounts.

This was allegedly accomplished by Trilegiant placing consumers into one (or more) membership programs without valid authorization from the consumers, and then charging those consumers' credit cards, debit cards, or other accounts with unauthorized "membership fees."

After the case was originally filed in 2012, the defendants filed a number of motions to dismiss, which, two years later, have carved out seven of the asserted ten claims (and some of the defendants) from the case. This shrank the case to three claims: alleged violations of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, alleged violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act and unjust enrichment claims.

The case officially started Monday because that's when the remaining defendants filed answers to the remaining counts in plaintiffs' complaint.

Legal translation: In my mind, Monday marked the beginning of the case because we finally get a look into the defendants' positions.

Beckett was one of the defendants that answered the complaint on Monday. Like most answers, it contained a hundred or so "denials" or statements that Beckett "lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief about the truth of the allegations."

Legal translation: That's all answers really say. Denied. Lacked knowledge. Denied. Denied. Denied. Makes you wonder why such documents exist?

The insight gleaned (beyond denials and a general lack of knowledge about plaintiffs' position) about the cases arose from Beckett's five defenses.

Arbitration – Because of contracts executed by the plaintiffs, the claims should not be in court; they should be in arbitration.

Causation – The plaintiffs voluntarily and knowingly enrolled in Trilegiant's membership programs, so any injuries they suffered resulted from Plaintiffs’ own conduct not Beckett’s conduct.

Contributory negligence - Should Beckett be found liable, any award should be reduced because the plaintiffs and "other individuals or entities" also messed up.

Laches – Plaintiffs took too long to bring their claims.

Lack of standing - Some plaintiffs failed to allege a direct relationship with Beckett, and that should be good enough to let Beckett out of the case.

The most interesting defense was the "contributory negligence" claim because this accusation was not limited to negligence on behalf of the plaintiffs…it also included "other," as-if-yet unidentified parties. This makes me wonder if the "other" parties might be other defendants…like, say…Trilegiant. If so, we could see infighting between defendants as they accuse other co-defendants of being liable…or at least liable for part of the other defendants' liability.

Plaintiff's attorneys love it when a rift forms between an allegedly unified base of defendants. It allows plaintiffs to cut deals with certain defendants, provided they "give up the goods" on the others.

I'm not saying that it has happened here, or will happen, but in any case with multiple defendants, finger pointing is always possible.

The information provided in Paul Lesko's "Law of Cards" column is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues commonly encountered in the sports industry. This information is not intended to create any legal relationship between Paul Lesko, the Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC or any attorney and the user. Neither the transmission nor receipt of these website materials will create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the readers.

The views expressed in the "Law of Cards" column are solely those of the author and are not affiliated with the Simmons Law Firm. You should not act or rely on any information in the "Law of Cards" column without seeking the advice of an attorney. The determination of whether you need legal services and your choice of a lawyer are very important matters that should not be based on websites or advertisements.

Top eBay Listings

2014 Bowman YORDANO VENTURA RC Blue Refractor on card auto autograph 25 25 1 1
$74.99

2014-15 Leaf ITG Heroes Prospects MITCHELL MARNER RC jersey auto autograph 5 10
$99.99

Kevin Millar blue ink auto Autograph 2014 Panini Prizm Boston Red Sox!
$15.95

2014-15 Leaf ITG Heroes Prospects TRAVIS SANHEIM rookie RC jumbo patch 5 5 1 1
$79.99

2014-15 UD Artifacts LOT 2x Mark Visentin patch auto 3 8 and 05 15 RC coyotes
$399.00

2014 Bowman Chrome Tre Mason RED Refractor Rookie Auto 25 BGS 9.5 RARE RAMS RB
$185.00

ORLANDO CEPEDA 2014 TIER ONE ACCLAIMED AUTO AUTOGRAPH #14 25
$32.76

ON CARD AUTOGRAPH LOT! KENDRY FLORES & BREYVIC VALERA 2014 BOWMAN CHROME RC AUTO
$12.95

2014 Bowman Chrome Tre Mason Xfractor RC Auto SP 10 BGS 9.5 RARE RAMS RB AUBURN
$240.00

2014 Panini National Convention Tre Mason Pulsar Auto SP 5 BGS 9.5 10 RAMS RB
$135.00

2014 Leaf Valiant Tre Mason Black In the Spotlight SP RC Auto 5 BGS 9 10 RAMS
$115.00

2014 Topps Finest Dual Auto Bishop Sankey Tre Mason SP 10 BGS 9.5 RAMS TITANS
$85.00

2014 Topps Chrome Tre Mason Rookie Die Cuts Autograph SP 15 BGS 9.5 10 RAMS RB
$90.00

2014 Leaf Draft Johnny Manziel Autograph BGS 9.5 TEXAS A&M "Cleveland Browns"
$100.00

2014 Topps Finest Tre Mason Jumbo Jersey Rookie GOLD Auto SP 50 BGS 9.5 RAMS
$55.00

2014 Elite Rookie INSCRIPTIONS Tre Mason On Card Acetate Autograph SP BGS 9.5
$60.00
« Previous1234

 |  E-Mail | URL
Paul Lesko is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy and the chair of its Intellectual Property Department (http://www.simmonsfirm.com). Don’t hold the fact that Paul is a lawyer against him, he’s also a rabid baseball and college basketball fan, and an avid baseball card collector. Paul can be found on Twitter @Paul_Lesko and Google+.

Leave a Comment:

MENU